When talking about global warming, one of the most important and highly debated questions is whether it is caused by human activity or natural occurrences. Scientists estimate that around two thirds of the excess heat that is trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere is man-made, leaving the remaining one third to be the result of natural fluctuations. Although both sides may have their own respective arguments, the fact that we are contributing to global warming is clear.
From a scientific perspective, global warming is mainly caused by human activity, which is evident in the fact that most of the carbon emissions that are driving it come from burning fossil fuels or deforestation. CO2 is the most prominent of these emissions and it has become increasingly abundant in the atmosphere as a result of human activities. It acts like a ‘blanket’ in the atmosphere, trapping in more heat, and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has been steadily rising since the industrial age began.
Though many scientists agree that the majority of global warming is caused by human activity, some propose that natural fluctuations play a part too. For example, some researchers believe that interlationships between the ocean currents and the atmosphere are instrumental in warming the planet. Others point to certain feedback loops, such as organic material from melting permafrost emitting more CO2, which causes more warming, resulting in further melting of the permafrost.
Although some climatic changes can be attributed to natural fluctuations or the natural cycle of the Earth, the consensus amongst scientists is that mankind’s influence on global warming is a significant factor in this equation. The fact that natural occurrences are beginning to be altered and exacerbated by man-made emissions highlights that human beings are the driving force behind global warming.
Consequently, it is important to realize that global warming is very much in our hands and that we can significantly reduce the effects of climate change by transitioning to renewable energy sources and green technologies, such as wind and solar energy. We must also be aware that we are not going to be able to reverse what has already been done and transition back to cooler climates. We have to look forward and aim to create a more sustainable future for the generations to come.
This debate over whether human activity or natural fluctuations are to blame for global warming is beginning to turn into a moot point as the evidence continues to point to the fact that the primary cause is man-made. We must now move forward with a plan of action to mitigate the effects of global warming and work towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.